Mark-Maker Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, medium-sized commercial platemaker and trade shop, is one of the first in the United States to install the ThermoFlexX Catena-W washout unit from XSYS.
Mark-Maker Company was formed in 1970 when Robert Stout, who was a graphic artist by trade, set up the business to provide hand-engraved and rubber printing plates to the printing industry. In 1979, Robert Pettijohn was brought in to help the small family business expand into steel rule cutting dies. He soon expanded the customer base, selling plates and dies to corrugated manufacturers.
On the plate side, Mark-Maker began making liquid photopolymer plates for flexo printing in the 1980s, and in the early 1990s, it added sheet plates with the installation of one of the first large format systems in the country. This was also around the time Pettijohn took over running the company as President, and his son, Aaron, joined the business. When Robert retired in 2018 after, 40 years in the company (25 of which he was at the helm), the reins were passed to Aaron.
Today, the family-owned Company operates three sites in the United Staes; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Glendale Heights, Illinois; and Neenah, Wisconsin.
The ThermoFlexX Catena-W washout unit from XSYS reportedly has plate alignment technology that avoids plate skew during transport, while the advanced plate queuing limits the distance between plates to 20 inches.
Furthermore, the system uses three hands-free, internal pin bars to transport plates through the process, making plate punching a thing of the past.
At Mark-Maker, the Catena-W works in unison with a ThermoFlexX 80 imager installed in 2017 and a nyloflex Xpress Thermal Processor from 2019 to provide large flexo printing plates in sizes up to 50 inches x 80 inches.